Students and families of St James’ recently received messages from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, NBN weatherman Gavin Morris, State Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen, Knights star Mitchell Pearce, and author Matt Cosgrove.
The messages of support resulted from St James’ principal Aaron Moon seeking ways to keep the children engaged and optimistic over the school holidays in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
“As a principal I want my school community to be happy and positive,” Mr Moon said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has been the opposite of this — it has brought fear and the unknown into our lives.
“Over the school holidays I wanted to ensure everyone was happy, positive and not forgotten, and the reception [to the messages] has been overwhelmingly positive. Our community is stoked that these people have taken time out of their day to say hello and reiterate that everything will be OK, especially the Premier.
St James’ parent, Kylie Phippen, said her family really enjoyed watching the videos prepared by well-known identities.
“The messages have been extremely inspirational for children to see and help parents get through these tough times. These messages have a positive effect on our school community showing us that we are not alone, and we can get through it together. There is hope and we will be challenged every day during this pandemic, but we need to stay positive and give each other strength.”
Year 6 student, Ruby Wagstaffe agreed, saying she loved receiving such positive and uplifting messages.
“I am truly grateful for them to take time out from their busy schedules to think of us. Not only the school but the entire school community.”
“I think it gives our families reassurance that we are all in the same boat. It also reinforces the messages that we have shared at school — that we will all be OK,” Mr Moon said
In her address to the children, Ms Berejiklian said: “Thank you to all of you for working and trying so hard under what has been a very different school holidays and a different Easter period.
“I’m very proud of all of you as your State Premier. I want to thank your teachers, your Principal and your parents for taking such good care of you, and tell you that we have lots to look forward to.
“In the meantime, I know you’ll all be working hard and studying hard, and making sure that you’re taking care of everybody around you.”
In addition to the video messages, Mr Moon has been lifting spirits at St James’ by wearing wigs and sharing “Mr Moon’s Storytime” with the children through the school’s Facebook page.
You can view the video messages here: